Friday, February 1, 2013

Cocoon Jewelry by Suzanne Balestri

The Artist: Suzanne Balestri

About the Artist

Suzanne Balestri was an interior designer when she first began her explorations with fused glass. After taking a fused glass workshop for fun in 2006, it didn’t take long for her passion for the glass medium to grow. She soon began taking more in-depth courses in fused glass as well as jewelry design and fabrication at UC San Diego. In 2008, Suzanne began selling her work and participating in art shows.

About the Art

These fused glass pieces of wearable art are handcrafted using a process originally developed by the Ancient Egyptians. Glass fusion requires carefully measuring, cutting and cleaning fusible glass before layering and assembling it into the desired conceptual design. The assembled unit is then placed into a kiln for several hours until it reaches 1475 degrees, the point at which the layered pieces melt into each other to become one piece.  The kiln is then cooled over several hours, which anneals the glass to give it strength and durability. A good portion of the pieces come out of the kiln requiring further work (called “cold-working”) which includes grinding, drilling, sawing or sandblasting, depending on the what the desired final outcome of the piece is.  After the piece is cold-worked, it requires another round through the kiln – at even slower heating and cooling rates – to “fire-polish” the piece.

Watch a video about Suzanne explaining the process:

View the Cocoon Jewelry collection at DownDog Boutique here: